Justice Department selects Auburn lawyer, candidate to lead international training

The U.S. Department of Justice and Department of State has selected Auburn attorney Matt Williams to lead judicial and prosecutorial training sessions in Central Europe.

Williams is being dispatched to Tirana, Albania for two weeks, where he will partner with members of the DOJ in conducting training for judges and advocates from several Balkan countries.

Williams – a candidate for King County District Court Judge in the Southeast Division of King County – has lead similar training in the Balkans and in the Middle East. He is part of a select group of U.S. attorneys who volunteer their time to spreading the “rule-of-law” around the world.

Williams is known in this community as a “go-to” organizer in developing programs that help emerging democracies build justice systems that support the stability of their democracy without interfering with their cultural values.

Williams, an adjunct professor of law at Seattle University School of Law, is also known for devoting most of his vacation time to working with court systems, both in and out of the United States.

“Effective justice systems are a key ingredient in building sustainable peace in regions of the world that are struggling with ethnic conflicts and violence that dates back thousands of year,” Williams said.

Williams went on to express his belief that lawyers in the U.S. can learn a lot from stepping outside of our normal frame of reference, and seeing the justice system through the eyes of those who many not possess the freedoms and rights that the U.S. takes for granted.

"Ultimately, the protection of public safety is Job One for any system of laws," Williams said. "That includes creating and maintaining a system of justice that protects the public safety and civil liberties without creating martyrs. Whether they are an accused or a victim, people entering any justice system, need to know that they will be treated fairly and equally, and offenders will be held accountable for their actions.

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